Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dana Marton - Last Spy Standing

I am thrilled to be able feature, Dana Marton's upcoming January 2012 release Last Spy Standing from Harlequin Intrigue. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy, and loved it. Last Spy Standing is a fast paced adventure set in the jungles of South America. Dana Marton drops the reader right into the action, and sets the scene so vividly that it makes you wish for a handy machete, so you can cut your way through the jungle along with the characters.

Last Spy Standing
Do you love reading a book set in the jungle? Where there is danger in every step the characters take, and the setting itself is as unpredictable as the enemy. Sparks and bullets begin to fly when Mitch Mendoza the hunky hero, meets the feisty heroine Megan Cassidy. Last Spy Standing is a book that you will not be able to put down. 

There a few elements that can be expected in any story that is set in a jungle. The first thing is snakes, and Dana delivers on that point there are plenty of snakes both poisonous and benign in  Last Spy Standing. The second is spiders, and the spider featured in this book is unbelievable, but very real.  

So, to help any of you that find yourself dropped into a jungle I thought I would point out a snake, and a spider in Last Spy Standing you should avoid. I am personally advocating that you avoid them all, but if you insist . . . First thing's first and in the classic cinematic words of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, "Snakes. Why did it have to snakes?" We will start with the snakes.

The fer-de-lance makes an appearance in Last Spy Standing, and even when he isn't on the page you get a feeling he is hiding in the leaves, just waiting for an opportunity to strike.
The fer-de-lance is a pit viper who is fast, venomous, can climb trees, swim and is easily agitated. Say no more, lets avoid him, but will Mitch and Megan?

Next we have the Banana Spider that gives new meaning to the word creepy. To be fair there are harmless yellow Banana Spider's out there, but the ones in Last Spy Standing are not those. The Banana spider is poisonous and reported to have the most painful of all spider bites. Though how they determined that is something I would rather not consider. Ouch.
Brazilian Wandering Spider aka Banana Spider
I am not a spider person. I used to scream in my room until my mother would come take the offending creepy crawly outside. I am proud to say that I am now able to handle my own spiders, but if this jungle bad boy came my way, trust me I would not hesitate to get out of his way, and call for special ops to handle it. So, a good rule of thumb in the jungle is avoid spiders as well. Dana has some surprising details about this spider, and you'll have to read Last Spy Standing to find them out. 

Last Spy Standing is a must read for Dana Marton's fans, and for those of you who haven't read her books yet, this is a great book to start with. 

Dana is offering one randomly chosen commentator one her books either an e-book or in print. To be entered in the giveaway ( US or Canada please) ask Dana Marton a question in the comments below. Or answer which fictional hero or heroine would you want to bring with you if you were dropped into the middle of a jungle? I know who I'd bring, do you? 
You can find Dana Marton on Facebook - Website - Twitter She loves to hear from readers.

Giveaway ends on Monday January 2 at 9 pm PST. Last Spy Standing is available now at all major online retailers, and at Harlequin.  Please leave an e-mail so I can get a hold of you if you win.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Recently on Twitter one of my favorite Romantic Suspense Authors, Paula Graves was live tweeting from the hospital. I tweeted to her that she need a hunky bodyguard like her very own character, Riley Patterson from the Canyon Creek Police department. Riley is the hero of  CASE FILE: CANYON CREEK WYOMING which is Paula's RITA nominated Harlequin Intrigue and is the first book in her Cooper Justice series. Riley first meets Hannah Cooper the heroine in the hospital in a less than ideal situation. Paula tweeted back "When I meet the Intrigue hero of my dreams, I'd like to have clean hair and no oozing wounds." This tweet started me thinking that the whole premise of most Intrigue's is that the couple meets during a crisis, usually loaded with enough personal baggage to keep the average human being away, and often with little time for social niceties such as clean hair. The ability to move past these obstacles and find love in the face of impossible odds is the very reason I enjoy reading Harlequin Intrigues.

Hannah Cooper is a fishing guide from a large family, who is vacationing in Wyoming.

Deputy Chief Riley Patterson a widowed police officer.

First Meeting Location:
They meet at a hospital in Jackson Wyoming, after Hannah has been attacked and peppered sprayed by a serial killer who posed as a police officer. Riley come to the hospital to question Hannah about the attack because he has a very personal interest in finding out who attacked her.

Hannah's Initial Impression:
Riley Patterson walks into the hospital room wearing a badge, and gets the following reaction."Her heart rate doubled in a span of a second, she opened her mouth and screamed.

Riley's Initial Impression:
"Bandages, blotchy skin and red rimmed eyes disappeared, revealing how pretty she was beneath her injuries." 

Not an ideal meeting, nor an ideal location, but certainly the perfect setting for an Intrigue to start. This was the first book of  Paula Graves  that I had read. I was instantly hooked, by her cinematic style and carefully crafted stories. I've subsequently read everything else that she has written except for her most recent release from Harlequin Intrigue Major Nanny, which I am saving for a rainy day. 

So, I started thinking which locations and circumstances would make the least desirable romantic meeting places. Personally, I would not enjoy meeting my Intrigue hero at the dentist office, and if that dentist office was on a submarine, well that would be the worst possible romantic suspense scenario for me. Yet an Intrigue heroine might easily find love there, as the dentist would turn out to be a spy and their mission on the submarine dangerous and top secret.

My question for you is, what circumstance would you prefer not to meet your Intrigue hero or heroine in? *

*Everyone who  leaves a comment below before 9pm on December 27th, 2011 (PST) will  be entered in a random drawing and one person will  win a copy of Major Nanny by Paula Graves, and a ten dollar gift card to Amazon. Also, leave an e-mail  for me to get a hold of you. The winner will be posted on December 28th here and on Paula's Facebook page.

Paula Graves upcoming March 2012 book - Secret Identity